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SEC Power Rankings Week One

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The SEC gets a little shook, and Kentucky does Kentucky things

Welcome back to your weekly SEC Basketball Power Rankings! One week into the season and there is one definitive understanding among our rankers, Kentucky is good and by far and away the class of the conference as of now.

The rest of the league on the other hand is a bit of a mishmash of good to terrible. To be honest no one has played to the level of competition of Kentucky, and in the games they have played they’ve only looked adequate. Hence the bunching of the middle of the conference. Our voters do agree that there are three teams that are clearly inferior to the rest and surprise, surprise it’s the same teams that have inhabited those spaces for the past couple of years.

With more games on the docket later today and this weekend we should continue to see the conference separate itself a little bit. Unfortunately, because college football is still king there is no salve from the terror that is this weekend’s football schedule to save you on the hardwood, but soon friends…SOON…

Tier 1

Not much has changed for the teams in Tier 1, a slight flip flop is all between Texas A&M and Florida, with the Aggies moving into the second spot and the Gators moving down one to third. Kentucky, the only team to have taken on a preseason favorite handled a slightly dinged up Michigan State team on Tuesday night, and have not looked anything but good against their inferior competition. A&M, meanwhile gets their first real test of the season against USC tonight after handling their appetizers of Northwestern State (who appears to play half the SEC this nonconference season) and American. Florida, remains undefeated though they’ve looked less convincing than you’d like at this point. But undefeated is undefeated which is more than the bottom of the conference can say.

Tier 2

Tier 2 has expanded quite a bit, making the gooey center of the conference larger than last week. All five teams in Tier (save Georgia) are undefeated and yet only Georgia has taken on a team worth any salt. The loss to Clemson is not a bad one, as those orange Tigers are undefeated and playing some very good basketball right now and have a very winnable game with Xavier today. As for the rest of the group, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and South Carolina, all sit undefeated but all have had closer games, most at home that weren’t put away until later. Ole Miss nearly lost to UMass, South Carolina just nipped by Monmouth and they’re spectacular bench, and LSU was kept in check for some time before pulling away from Southern Miss. Nothing too surprising to report, but no one is really showing out in this group in a way that tells you any one of these teams is ready to compete with the top of the conference at this point.

Tier 3

In Tier three we have one undefeated team, and two teams that have been beaten by the good teams on their schedule. No harm in that, and one of those two teams almost pulled the upset that would have vaulted them into the Tier 1 conversation. Auburn sits undefeated, but like many of the undefeated teams in Tier 2 have yet to really stomp on the teams they’ve played and have looked somewhat ordinary in their wins. This could be a question of youth gelling, or normal early season play from a team still figuring out its roles. However, they’re undefeated so good on Auburn. As for the other two teams in Tier 3, Alabama and Vanderbilt have both challenged themselves against name opponents in Dayton and Marquette respectively. Bama came within a few points to pulling an upset and the biggest win in Avery Johnson’s young career in Tuscaloosa, whether anyone there would have noticed whose to say. But Bama was leading the game for most of the way and looked solid in doing so. The Bama revival project continues and appears to be on or ahead of schedule. For the Commodores, they went down to Marquette and while they did suffer a loss, they looked good for about 24 minutes of the 40 minute contest. Around the 25 minute mark Vandy went into a bit of a tailspin and couldn’t buy a bucket. They’ll have another chance at a good win against Butler on Thanksgiving.

Tier 4

With the compression of Tier 3, we’ve moved to only four Tiers this week. Inhabiting Tier 4 are the usual suspects of Mississippi State, Mizzou and Tennessee. All three teams have suffered losses, but one is not like the other. Yesterday, Mizzou lost a heartbreaker to Xavier in overtime in a fashion in which you’d expect a young team to do so. If Mizzou can play the way they did yesterday (maybe cut down on the fouls) they should finally have an air of competence about them they’ve lacked since Frank Haith took the last train out of Missouri for Tulsa. On the other hand Mississippi State who plays the worst nonconference slate of anyone in the entire conference and probably the entire Power 5 plus one took it on the chin, getting beat convincingly by Central Florida. State is still a young team, but that’s a game you have to have to show progress in year 2 of the Ben Howland Addidas marriage at State. Finally, rounding out the conference is Tennessee who took a loss to Chattanooga who is not a bad team, but the rest of the schedule does not look promising for the Vols over the next two weeks to build any forward momentum, for Monday night they dance with the Badgers of Wisconsin.

Team Points Rnaking Ranking Last Week Change Highest Pick Lowest Pick
Kentucky 84 1st 1st None 1st 1st
Texas A&M 74 2nd 3rd Up 1 2nd 4th
Florida 71 3rd 2nd Down 1 2nd 4th
Arkansas 58 4th 4th None 2nd 8th
Georgia 52 5th 5th None 4th 11th
LSU 51 6th 12th Up 6 2nd 10th
Ole Miss 49 7th 11th Up 4 3rd 11th
South Carolina 47 8th 8th None 5th 9th
Vanderbilt 37 9th 6th Down 3 6th 12th
Auburn 33 10th 7th Down 3 5th 12th
Alabama 30 11th 9th Down 2 7th 11th
Mississippi State 20 12th 10th Down 2 7th 14th
Mizzou 15 13th 14th Up 1 11th 14th
Tennessee 9 14th 13th Down 1 13th 14th

Points were distributed as follows: 1st = 14, 2nd = 13, 3rd = 12, 4th = 11, 5th = 10, 6th = 9, 7th = 8, 8th = 7, 9th = 6, 10th = 5, 11th = 4, 12th = 3, 13th = 2, and 14th = 1

Avery Johnson will get a pass this year due to incoming recruits. And because Bama fans will pay more attention to Saban's signing class during the seasons anyway. (Dawg Sports)

Alabama fans are impatient fans but they looked good against a solid Dayton squad. (College and Magnolia)

Probably should have beaten Dayton, except they couldn't shoot. (Anchor of Gold)

The reffs this season seem very keen to blow their whistles. (Rock M Nation)

Moses Kingsley is averaging 6 blocks per game this season. Just saying. (Dawg Sports)

They got called for 29 fouls in a game at Bud Walton Arena? Wait... am I reading that right? (Anchor of Gold)

Bruce Pearl has remade this roster a couple times already in his now 3rd season on the Plains. And this year, the talent and suitability for how he wants to play should be there to see what he's capable of these days. (Dawg Sports)

We'll learn more about Auburn this week against Texas Tech but so far, the three freshman starters look good. (College and Magnolia)

I watched the Auburn game a few nights ago, and I couldn’t tell where the game was played because the fans either just love shouting when their team shoots free throws ‘cause it’s a thing in Auburn, or maybe there needs to be remedial cheering as a class on the Plains. (Rock M Nation)

You really owe it to yourself to see the bizarrely-colored floor they played on in Lakeland. (Anchor of Gold)

The second season of Mike White has a roster much better suited to an up tempo press, and they could easily end the season sitting second. (Dawg Sports)

I’m attributing all of Florida’s home wins this season to the fact that the TSA situation at their airports sucks the life out of you. Get it together Florida! (Rock M Nation)

At some point, they may want to find a third guy to do something, you know, just in case...(Rock M Nation)

They need some players to step up around Yante Maten and JJ Frazier, but those two should be able to carry the load for another 20+ win season and post season play. (Dawg Sports)

Quick... name a Georgia player who's not JJ Frazier or Yante Maten. (Anchor of Gold)

A lot of SEC teams almost knocked off national powers this week. Kentucky beat Michigan State by 21. (College and Magnolia)

SEC basketball is the SEC East. One good/great team and a lot of 'meh' after that. (A Sea of Blue)

You expected another answer? (Dawg Sports)


LSU

I know, Johnny Jones is still there. But so is Antonio Blakeney, and a lot of other talent. (Dawg Sports)

I have yet to see totally confused/spaced out Johnny Jones face yet this season, so that’s a good sign for the Tigers. (Rock M Nation)

You just know Johnny Jones will make the tournament with this team, because the universe likes to mess with us. (Anchor of Gold)

Ben Howland's puppies aren't paper trained yet. (College and Magnolia)

They won't be very good either. The top half of the SEC better get some strong out of conference wins if we want some bids as a conference, because the bottom half could be a giant drain of suckage on the ol' RPI. (Dawg Sports)

We knew there were going to be growing pains, but a 25-point loss to a bad AAC team? Seriously? (Anchor of Gold)

You took a top 10 team to overtime, you get to be Not Last this week. Congrats! (Anchor of Gold)

The Xavier game won’t matter if they crap the bed against a bad Davidson team. (Rock M Nation)

Oh Mizzou. I wanted that Xavier win for your so, so bad. (College and Magnolia)

It's Andy Kennedy, so you know a .500 conference record is coming. You know it's coming. (Dawg Sports)

Still not sure how Ole Miss beat UMass, bu what a win for the conference. (College and Magnolia)

They can't guard anybody right now. That's an issue that needs to be fixed. (Anchor of Gold)

Thornwell, Notice, and Dozier make for a pretty nice backcourt, and you know Frank Martin will have a team that plays tough and physical inside. (Dawg Sports)

Frank Martin is not seeing enough fight, and when that happens, well, look out. (Rock M Nation)

This year, PJ Dozier being a five-star recruit doesn't seem like a joke. (Anchor of Gold)

So I guess this is something like a mid-level team in the SoCon, right? (Anchor of Gold)

Congrats, you’re the new Mizzou! (Rock M Nation)

[doesn't say anything, cause Mama said if you can't say something nice about someone...] (Dawg Sports)

Texas A&M is playing bums but they're beating them like bums. (College and Magnolia)

Even with Kentucky's talent, Tyler Davis may be the best big man in the conference. (Dawg Sports)

This will last so long as Billy Kennedy doesn't decide to start denying Tyler Davis the ball so his guards can jack up ill-advised 18-footers. (Anchor of Gold)

Bryce Drew, fix that court! (Rock M Nation)

Still some kinks to be worked out, but the lack of a PG is going to be a season-long issue. (Anchor of Gold)

It's only week one and lol at tenn and vandy losing (Red Cup Rebellion)


And that will do it for week 1! Not much on the docket this weekend, but Thanksgiving brings a lot of fun nonconference games, so grab a turkey, grab a drink, grab a loved one and settle in for some SEC follies!